Gemma Turley is living proof of that. She had a troubled childhood, living in many foster homes, and did not have a positive experience of Christianity growing up. But today, aged 28, adorned with piercings and tattoos, Gemma has come to faith and is now a children’s worker. She credits Urban Hope with that change.
‘In 2015, my friend mentioned Urban Hope to me,’ she says. ‘I didn’t want to go, but I did and it was really relaxed. If you wanted to play pool with your friends, you could.
‘It was a relief, because I could talk to people openly and honestly and if I had any issues, they were dealt with. I felt part of the community from day one.’
Now, she has a vision to help children find faith ‘on their own terms’. ‘I didn’t think I’d be the kind of person who would be accepted,’ she says. ‘But because of how far I have come in finding faith, if I can help one person find some comfort in faith, that would be great.’
With its purple walls, old sofas, and Christmas lights, Urban Hope has a relaxed, informal feel. But it’s the welcome board, just inside the entrance, that tells you everything you need to know about what goes on here, and explains why dozens of young adults, like Gemma, have found a spiritual home here.